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September 12, 1977

Cancer and Nutrition

JAMA. 1977;238(11):1182-1183. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280120074024

Part II of Cancer Research (July 1977) was dedicated to the proceedings of the Conference on Nutrition and Cancer Therapy, which was sponsored by the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute. Thirty-five outstanding scientists— nutritionists, oncologists, oncological surgeons, and research scientists—participated. For the first time, emphasis was placed on nutrition as a factor in malignant disease.

Nutrition is important from the negative standpoint since anorexia and cachexia lead to severe deterioration of the cancer patient; often nutritional deficiencies coexist with the malignant disease and may lead to additional weakening of the body, without direct etiologic dependence on cancer. On the other hand, improving nutrition and absorption and utilization of food ingredients may and should lead to strengthening of immunological defenses of the body. Scientists have started to look into nutrition from both points—prevention of nutritional health deterioration and improvement of total body immunological status by improved nutrition during